Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lucky Thirteen

[My all-time favorite picture of you. I can't ever get enough of it. Photo courtesy of Heidi Ballou]

Dear McKay,

Well, I finally did it. Finally found the time to sit down and get this letter up for you. I had no idea you had been checking the blog all day Friday for it. I feel terribly guilty that it wasn't here waiting, but what can I say? I was up at 5:30 to get your birthday breakfast ready. Then I was making your cake from scratch, and brining and baking your birthday brisket (all per your request).


The funny thing is just how well you understand. Of all my children, you are definitely the most forgiving. Like that picture above? The one with the dog we had for a total of two days before having to give it back due to horrific allergies? You smiled and shrugged it off, though I know it broke your heart. Your brother? He asked if it would be possible to keep the dog and send ME away.

But not you. You accepted the bad news and made the most of the time you and the dog had left.

You are still like that today. When things don't go your way, you never pout or get angry. You never slam doors or yell in frustration. You simply adjust your way of thinking and move on to something new. Your disappointment is never carried around on your sleeve.

Oh, but I envy you that trait.

I think it will serve you well in your life. I think it will make you a fair and just companion. You are quick to forgive and so easy to love. (And I know you did not get that from me.)


When retelling the story of your birth last Friday night, I looked at you in awe and wondered how it was that 13 years have gone by since then. It seems like only yesterday. I can still feel your warm body in my arms, as they handed me this wrapped, red bundle of baby. I recall with vivid clarity, watching with teary eyes as Daddy held you for the first time - you, just minutes old. It was that precise moment that we became a family.

Oh, but you made parenting so easy. Your happy laughter filled our tiny apartment. Your smile made the winter seem like spring. You brought us a new level of joy that we had never known before.


I am particularly loving your new independence in the kitchen. Many a gourmet meal has been served lately - and all of them prepared by you! I flatter myself that your interest in cooking is not due to my lack of abilities, but as a result of your own drive to learn new skills.

Yeah. That's it, right?

Either way, it's been so fun to see you try new things. You never seem daunted by difficult recipes or techniques. You were born fearless, and it extends into every part of your life.


I love you, kid. I cherish your obedient nature. I see you trying so hard to do your best - in school, at church, and at home - and I sit here and wonder what I ever did to deserve you. You have the heart of a giant. You love everyone around you, and make it impossible for them not to love you back. You work hard and expect the absolute best from yourself.

I hope this year is your best yet. You. are. amazing.




Karey said...

What a sweet tribute and what a cute young man. I've decided I really am in favor of arranged marriages and I think we need to talk.

The thing I love about that last picture is that you have a boy who cooks, is gentle and thoughtful and yet has the bruises of a boy who probably roughhouses. Great combination!

It's shocking how fast it all goes!

Julianna said...


I'm tearing up. :)

(But that could just be the hormones.)

Happy Birthday Mckay!

Lala said...

So sweet. How the time flys. They really do grow so fast.

carly said...

I have never met you or your kids, but your birthday letters always make me tear up.

Happy Birthday!

Lauren in GA said...

Such a lovely tribute post. I think it is cute that he was eager to see what you would write to him.

I can see why you love that picture of him. So, so, cute.

I loved hearing how you felt when you first saw him being held by his Daddy. I got teary reading about your, "red bundle of baby."

Happy Birthday to your handsome, forgiving, and obedient (great traits in a man) McKay.

Becky said...

Oh, that first picture is my favorite. Happy Birthday, McKay!

Michelle said...

a perfect post. Happy Birthday to your darling boy!

Meggan said...

Happy Birthday Mack! You really are an amazing kid. 13...Yikes. Hope you had a great day!

Annie said...

Happy birthday to McKay! Where does the time go? I remember him in those earlier pictures and it seems like weeks ago. What a fantastic person he is already--and is becoming, too.

jen@odbt said...

The first picture is adorable. I can still see a little bit of that baby boy in him. Happy Birthday to McKay!

Tristan said...

I LOVE the first picture!!

McKay sounds like such a great young man! Happy Birthday McKay!!

Dalene said...

Can we please introduce arranged marriages into the American culture? No, not for me. But for a cute little niece of mine? Happy Birthday, McKay!

Gabi said...

Happy 13th to McKay!!! I have been in love with him since the first time you brought him to Philly. He was a darling baby and is turning into a perfect gentleman. Come see us soon!

jessica said...

I LOVE that first picture! You have an amazing young man...I almost put boy! But clearly he is a young man now. Beautiful post!

Travelin'Oma said...

The oldest grandson, the keeper of the light, the heir apparent . . . not that there's any pressure! Mack's the BMOC (Big Man of Cousins) and we're proud as can be.

4ever said...

A very happy birthday to your oldest son! He is a handsome guy! You are one lucky momma!

♥Maren said...

Love that kid! What a cutie!

Liz said...

Watch out world, he's a teenager. Stake dances next year. I better send diet coke.

Cindy said...

appy Birthday, McKay!

Lynette said...

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy him! Just dropped my oldest off at the MTC...and wasn't he just 13???

Becki said...

Wow. What a wonderful way you have with words. I have never met you or your son but was starting to feel teary reading your birthday post. So sweet. Cheers, Becki